What is the KCAB?

KCAB, The Korean Commercial Arbitration Board, was duly approved and established in 1970 by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce(currently Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy) as a non-profit organization. It administers arbitration with fairness and independence in accordance with the Arbitration Act of Korea(promulgated by Act No. 1767 as of March 16, 1966 and amended by Act No. 6083 as of Dec. 31, 1999). The Arbitration Rules governing the arbitral proceedings were approved by the Supreme Court and have been amended several times in order to ensure fairness. KCAB revised its International Arbitration Rules on Sep 1, 2011. These rules were revised to meet international standards in arbitration.

What is arbitration?

There are two kind of dispute resolution systems ensuring enforceability of their decisions; judicial and arbitration proceedings. Due to its strict confidentiality, arbitration is not as well known as the traditional judicial proceedings. It should, however, be noted that arbitration handles such disputes as the arbitration agreement (or clauses) contained in its contracts or a separate written agreement.
KCAB recommends a Model Arbitration Clause, as written below, to be inserted in every contract :
“Any disputes arising out of or in connection with this contract shall be finally settled by arbitration in Seoul in accordance with the International Arbitration Rules of the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board.
The number of arbitrators shall be[one / three]
The seat, or legal place, of arbitral proceedings shall be[city / country]
The language to be used in the arbitral proceedings shall be[language]”

Is it possible for parties in dispute to file a lawsuit before the court notwithstanding arbitration agreement (clauses)?

No. In accordance with Article 9 of the Arbitration Act, a court before which an action is brought in a matter which is the subject of an arbitration agreement shall, if the respondent raises a plea that an arbitration agreement exists, dismiss the action. The respondent shall raise a plea not later than when submitting his/her first statement on the substance of the dispute

What kind of disputes can be resolved by arbitration?

KCAB is engaged in arbitration in such areas as trade, joint investment, construction, maritime, distribution and any kind of commercial dispute which can be settled by private law. However, arbitration cannot be applied to criminal, administration and family affairs.

What is the main advantage of arbitration?

First, due to the same legal effect as a final judgment of a court and its single trial system, arbitration ensures speedy resolution of disputes.
Second, enforcement of arbitral awards by foreign countries is possible in many countries which are a party to the New York Convention of 1958.
Third, the arbitral proceedings are kept confidential. Arbitration Tribunals provide the parties with opportunities to present their case fully.
Fourth, the disputing parties can select an arbitrator(s) who renders an arbitral award and are free to determine the appointment procedures by mutual agreement.

How can you settle the disputes which have no arbitration clause in their contracts?

In case of no arbitration clause in the contract, the dispute may be referred to mediation where a staff member of the KCAB will act as a mediator. Mediation aims to help and assist in reaching mutual agreements without damaging the future business relationship of the parties concerned.

How much are the arbitration costs?

See the linked page – Arbitration Costs

How many arbitration and mediation cases are administered by the KCAB per year? And what kind of disputes are usually brought to the KCAB?

More than 300 arbitration cases and 900 mediation cases are administered by KCAB per year. In recent years, many of the cases consist of disputes in construction, trade, insurance, and such.

How can KCAB be contacted?

See the linked page – Contact